Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where the Magma Meets the Sea: Arrogance and Humility

If you check this blog more than occasionally, you may notice that our posts tend to change over time. Mine tend to change a lot within the first week of their publication.

When I write the First Draft of a post, I realize that my words will enter the infosphere and affect others. In my life, I am trying to learn to live softly, and I know that I have many passionate opinions and a strong voice that can make that difficult. So, I strive to write with humility. On the First Draft, I almost never succeed.

I don't publish it right away. I give it some time, wait until I can see it clearly, come back to it, and post it when I feel like it's tempered. This is the Second Draft, and it's definitely better than the first. "I've got it!", I think, and I post it.

Now, usually, this is the right decision, but not for the reason I think. It's the right decision because at that point, I've come as close to authentic humility as I can within the echoey halls of my own head. It's only when my dear friends and readers read the post, and start telling their stories and asking sincere questions that my perspective widens those few extra inches and I'm able to see my way to the Third Draft.

Usually, in the Third Draft, I manage to complete my transition away from the cultural forces of "truth" and "directives", away from arrogance, and towards personal story. I think I'm at my best when I'm telling stories that are about me, but to get there, I sometimes have to work through countless hours of training in polemics, debate, and formal academic communication.

Anyway, for me, this blog is the place where the magma meets the sea. Like Storyjam, it is both personal and social, neither diary nor oratory. I hope that we can keep being patient with each other, so that together, we can keep telling and refining the beautiful things out of the complex chaos of the Stories That Are Us.


  1. I have the same problem, to a certain degree. Academia/grad school still shows through too much in my writing, and it makes my blog posts often sound lecturing. I've been working hard on fixing that.

  2. Thanks, Christian. It feels good to know I'm not the only one!